Vineyard Arts Project in Edgartown is a lovely studio facility dedicated to promoting the performing arts on the island. The facility boasts rehearsal studios, workshops, classes and performances during the summer months. There are also living quarters for visiting performers and artists on-site.
The Martha's Vineyard Museum and Historical Society is devoted to the history and culture of this small Massachusetts island. Explore the island's fascinating past and learn about the people who lived here. The historical society first came together in 1922. Today, the museum and society are housed in historical buildings that are wonderful to walk through. Visitors to this museum can trace back their ancestry through the Historical Society's extensive genealogical services. There are special exhibits, classes, seminars, workshops, and movies hosted here throughout the year.
Six miles of hiking trails meander through this 350-acre nature preserve. The well-marked trails lead visitors through open fields, woods, marshlands and beaches. Tree swallows, wood ducks, barn owls and osprey as well as other wildlife can be seen while walking around this wild and beautiful landscape. Special programs are held throughout the year, including Sea Ducks at Squibnocket in March and a large plant sale in May.
High atop the beautiful cliffs of Gay Head rests a magnificent lighthouse. It has been operational since 1799 and stands at a height of 51 feet (15 meters). In the year 2015 due to erosion problems, it was necessary to move the lighthouse 129 feet (39 meters) back from where it was originally built. From the top of the lighthouse you can still enjoy beautiful views of the sea, the Aquinnah cliffs and nearby areas. The lighthouse is open seasonally and is open to public only during designated hours, hence it is advisable to call before visiting.
This state park in Vineyard Haven is truly a natural wonder. The park consists of more than 5,000 acres (2,023 hectares) and is located in the center of the island. In the early 20th century, the park was established as a reserve dedicated towards the protection of Heath hens, a now extinct, specie of the Greater prairie chicken family. Today, the park is used for recreational purposes such as hiking, cross country skiing, cycling, horseback riding and more. There are picnic areas, rest rooms and showers available. A large environmental restoration project is underway in an attempt to revive the native grassland ecosystem.
When you're on Martha's Vineyard and craving a pint, stop by the Offshore Ale Company for a locally-brewed beer and a bite to eat. The menu features all sorts of pub favorites like seafood, burgers and pizza, including a never-ending supply of peanuts. There's always live music and special events, so check out their schedule for the latest goings-on. Don't forget to toss those peanut shells directly on the floor - it's encouraged!
Experience three centuries of island life in this unique museum. The house was built in 1672 and is considered to be the oldest dwelling on Martha's Vineyard. With its wide floorboards built low to the ground and central chimney, it is a perfect example of classic full-Cape architecture. It was moved to its present location and restored in 1977. Several walls have been left open to demonstrate early colonial building techniques. Five rooms are furnished in the evolving styles of home decor; from the basic necessities of the first settlers to the more opulent Federal look from the 19th century.
A perfect spot on a rainy day, the library boasts an extensive collection of books, reference materials, compact discs and audio and videotapes. You can also get access to the Internet, use a personal computer, or dig into the island's fascinating history, a library specialty. There is a children's room and a play area for toddlers. Residents of Massachusetts get free library cards, all others are asked to pay a nominal fee.
The Old Whaling Church, named as such because it was built by whaling captains in 1843, is the perfect location for a vineyard wedding. With spectacular views and Greek revival architecture, the Old Whaling Church is a sight to be seen. This old Edgartown gem can accommodate up to 500 guests in the main church and 150 guests in the lower level Frederick Baylies Room.
One of the many lighthouses on Martha's Vineyard, the Edgartown grounds, managed by the Martha's Vineyard Historical Society, are open to the public. The view from the grounds is breathtaking. The lighthouse, built in 1875 and refurbished in 1985, is an example of Cape Cod style, with three rooms on the first floor and two on the second. It is 45 feet high, made of cast iron and continues to operate as a navigational aid. The walkway leading to the lighthouse is called the "bridge of sighs" because it is said that long ago, when men would leave on sailing trips, their girlfriends and wives would stand on the walkway and look out over the horizon to where their loves had gone.